Arecibo Observatory: Watching for Asteroids, Waiting for E.T.

Editor’s note: On Nov. 6, 2020, a main cable supporting the radio telescope’s science platform snapped, compounding damage sustained in August and leaving the facility too precarious to repair. After 57 years in operation, the telescope will be decommissioned. Read full coverage of the decision here.

Arecibo Observatory, which is in Puerto Rico, is the location of the world’s second-largest single-dish radio telescope. Because radio telescopes can work at all times of day and in all kinds of weather, the observatory operates 24 hours a day. 

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